Monday, February 6, 2012

I am not a brand. I repeat, I am not a brand.

At the orientation in L.A. for my job, we talked about Maslow's Hierarchy of needs. It's a pretty retro (I've heard some say outdated) psychological construct that looks something like this:
We talked about this construct in terms of poverty (when you're basic needs aren't bet, it's hard to reach your full potential). But for many of us, we're doing "ok", at least in terms of basic needs. Which means we have plenty of time for the last couple sections: Esteem, and Sefl-actualization. Which should be awesome. Except we're kind of lazy.

I am, at least.

I watched Groundhog's Day last night, which teaches (if you are to believe Bill Murray), that given enough time, most people will turn out good. They reach self-actualization, and work for the betterment of all. 
I hope that it's true. 
But lately when I've had loads of time, I've spent it on pretty worthless pursuits.
I'm also worried that I, and a lot of people I know, have been kind of confused with what self-actualization really means.
Namely, we think that we are commodities.

We measure self-actualization in a different way:
- By the number of our twitter, blog, or tumblr followers
- How many "likes," "+1's" and comments we have.
- The pervasiveness of our online presence, while staying illusive and mysterious in really 

So for a lot of us, self-actualization is instead achieved when we've created a marketable and enviable lifestyle. Your value can literally me calculated if you monetize your YouTube account, blog, or website.

Pretty much, I'm just trying to say what this woman said on her website a couple years ago in a more succinct way. Here is her manifesto:

The internet is made of people. People matter. This includes you. Stop trying to sell everything about yourself to everyone. Don’t just hammer away and repeat and talk at people—talk TO people. It’s organic. Make stuff for the internet that matters to you, even if it seems stupid. Do it because it’s good and feels important. Put up more cat pictures. Make more songs. Show your doodles. Give things away and take things that are free. Look at what other people are doing, not to compete, imitate, or compare . . . but because you enjoy looking at the things other people make. Don’t shove yourself into that tiny, airless box called a brand—tiny, airless boxes are for trinkets and dead people.

So basically what inspired this post was a video of myself looking ridiculous and it makes me laugh revery time I watch it.
And I wasn't going to share it with you.

Because it would hurt my brand.


So I will share this embarrassing video and we will watch it and laugh together and feel foolish and it will be great. 

Kind of a long-winded post for such a short video, don't you think? 
HA. Totally worth it though. Am I right, or am I right?

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